Happy New Year to you as well!
Regarding editors, I have AVS Audio Editor. It has a million effect selections on it, but not Waveform Restorer. Does it go by any other name? Also regarding "pops", AVS does have a Noise Removal option, but those pops you're referring to are so microscopic and so quiet, it would be hard to even accurately sample one of them, and because one pop can be slightly different in sound from the next, it might not even correlate the sample to others that vary. I have used the Noise Removal successfully, for example, to remove air conditioning defuser hiss from a recording (where there enough lead-in before the music started to obtain a great sample). The editor program then removed that from the entire recording. But an isolated very quiet pop would be very tough it seems to me, trying to do it with Noise Removal. There are some great sound technicians here at PS as well their as being fine pianists. To them it would probably be routine as they edit regularly, whereas I try to avoid it altogether if I can, except for page turns that sound like tornadoes.
I agree with everything you say about living with a piece long enough to know it intimately, that "stylistic and technical cohesiveness" as you refer to it. No doubt about it. The problem is that this piece was so fiendishly difficult, I was glad to escape alive, call it a day and move on. Right now I feel like I need a very extended vacation from it. Of course, if you stay away from a piece for a few weeks, the subconscious--without one knowing it--keeps working on the piece such that when one picks it up again, certain challenges seem easier. Beyond that period, I've found it's like relearning the piece all over again. So I'd have to give that some thought. This is my second encounter with Medtner, and I'm not sure I want to tangle with him again at this point. Whenever I select a new repertoire piece, I consider it to be an investment in time and effort. And I feel that I earn larger dividends from playing the music of some of the other Russian late romantics. So when it comes to Medtner, my motivation is at low ebb at the moment to be honest.
Thanks for listening and also your helpful and insightful comments too.